Castro, Cuban revolutionary leader and former president, died Friday night at the age of 90, after a long, controversial rule.
Early Saturday morning while at the Francophonie Summit in Madagascar, Trudeau offered his condolences in a statement, calling him a “legendary revolutionary and orator.”
“Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation,” he said.
But many are condemning the statement, pointing out human rights violations during Castro’s half-century regime.
Conservative leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch wrote on Facebook that Trudeau should have called Castro’s administration “brutal, oppressive, and murderous”, rather than describing him “as if reading from a story book.”
Maxime Bernier, who is also running for the Conservative leadership, called Trudeau’s statement “repugnant.”
Internationally, former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American, questioned whether or not the statement was a joke.
The public is also weighing in on social media, using the hashtag #TrudeauEulogies, sarcastically weighing in on the debate.
Some are writing fake eulogies for fictional villains, such as Star Wars’ Emperor Palpatine, while others focused on real-life former dictators like Benito Mussolini.
With files from the Canadian Press